Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1005. Real property tax exemption.

(a) If a building (or a portion thereof) or grounds belonging to and actually used by an institution, organization, or other entity exempt from real property taxation under § 47-1002 is used to secure rent or income for an activity other than that for which the exemption was granted, the building (or portion thereof) or grounds shall be assessed and taxed, unless otherwise prohibited by law.

(b) If a building (or a portion thereof) or grounds belonging to and actually used by an institution, organization, or other entity exempt from real property taxation is used to secure a rent or income for any activity, where the exemption was not specifically limited to a particular use, the building (or a portion thereof) or grounds shall be assessed and taxed. This subsection shall not apply to real property exempt under § 47-1002(1) through (3), buildings or grounds subject to taxation under subsection (a) of this section, or real property immune from the levy and collection of tax under the laws of the United States.

(c) This section shall not apply to grounds used as an urban farm as certified by the Department of General Services pursuant to § 47-868.

(d) This section shall not apply to buildings or grounds used to generate stormwater retention credits certified in accordance with section 531 of Title 21 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (21 DCMR § 531).


(Dec. 24, 1942, 56 Stat. 1091, ch. 826, § 2; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 502(v), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 30, 2015, D.C. Law 20-248, § 201(b), 62 DCR 1504; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, §§ 7093(b)(1), 7162, 65 DCR 9388.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1005.

1973 Ed., § 47-801b.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1002, § 47-1003, § 47-1005.01, § 47-1005.02, § 47-1006, § 47-1008, § 47-1009, § 47-1010.01, § 47-1038, § 47-1039, § 47-1040, § 47-1041, § 47-1042, § 47-1043, § 47-1044, § 47-1045, § 47-1046, § 47-1049, § 47-1054, § 47-1056, § 47-1057, § 47-1060, § 47-1061, § 47-1062, § 47-1066, § 47-1068, § 47-1070, § 47-1079, § 47-1080, § 47-1084, § 47-1086, § 47-1087, § 47-1089, § 47-1091, § 47-1092, § 47-4620, § 47-4633, § 47-4636, § 47-4639, § 47-4641, § 47-4642, § 47-4651, § 47-4655, and § 47-4657.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-305 rewrote the section which had read:

“If any building or any portion thereof, or grounds, belonging to and actually used by any institution or organization entitled to exemption under the provisions of §§ 47-1002 and 47-1007 to 47-1010 are used to secure a rent or income for any activity other than that for which exemption is granted, such building, or portion thereof, or grounds, shall be assessed and taxed.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-248 added (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7162 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7093(b)(3) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7162 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7093(b)(3) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(u) of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5 of Finance and Revenue Technical Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-260, January 26, 2006, 53 DCR 780).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5 of Finance and Revenue Technical Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-361, April 26, 2006, 53 DCR 3619).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(s) of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Section 4 of D.C. Law 16-7 amended § 3(a) of D.C. Law 10-189, set out as a Miscellaneous Note below, by substituting “as an arena” for “as a downtown sports arena”.

Section 6(b) of D.C. Law 16-7 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 5 of D.C. Law 16-102 amended Sec. 3 of D.C. Law 10-189, to read as follows:

“(a) Notwithstanding any other law, that portion of the real property, described as lot 0047 in square 0455, in preparation for occupation and use, under construction for occupation or use, or occupied and used as a multi-purpose arena and related amenities shall be exempt from real property taxation, possessory interest taxation and business improvement district taxation.

“(b) The exemption provided by this section shall apply so long as the Land Disposition Agreement—Ground Lease, by and between The District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency, The District of Columbia, and DC Arena, LP, dated as of December 29, 1995 and recorded with the Recorder of Deeds on January 5, 1996 as instrument number 9600001285, remains in effect.”

Section 11(b) of D.C. Law 16-102 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Short Title

Short title: Section 7020 of D.C. Law 17-219 provided that subtitle I of title VII of the act may be cited as the “Verizon Center Recordation Tax Clarification Amendment Act of 2008”.

Editor's Notes

Section 7022 of D.C. Law 17-219 provided that this subtitle shall apply as of July 12, 2007.

Real property tax exemption for downtown sports arena: Section 3 of D.C. Law 10-189, the Arena Tax Amendment Act of 1994, as amended by D.C. Law 16-191, § 30, and D.C. Law 17-219, § 7021, provided:

“(a) Notwithstanding any other law, that portion of the real property, described as lot 0047 in square 0455, in preparation for occupation and use, under construction for occupation or use, or occupied and used as a multi-purpose arena and related amenities shall be exempt from real property taxation, possessory interest taxation, recordation tax, and business improvement district taxation.

“(b) The exemption provided by this section shall apply so long as the Land Disposition Agreement—Ground Lease, by and between The District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency, The District of Columbia, and DC Arena, LP, dated as of December 29, 1995 and recorded with the Recorder of Deeds on January 5, 1996 as instrument number 9600001285, remains in effect.

“(b) This section shall apply as of September 28, 1994.”

Jewish War Veterans, U.S.A. National Memorial, Incorporated: Public Law 98-486 provided that certain property of the Jewish War Veterans, U.S.A. National Memorial, Incorporated, is exempt from taxation by the District of Columbia.

Real property tax exemption for downtown sports arena: Section 3(b) of D.C. Law 10-189 provided that the provisions of §§ 47-1005, 47-1007, and 47-1009 shall apply with respect to the improvements exempted by the section.

Section 4 of D.C. Law 10-189 provided for the application of the act. See note to § 47-2752.

Section 301 of D.C. Law 20-248 provided that nothing in the act shall be construed to create a governmental liability or cause of action against the District related to the safety of food purchased on District lands by non-governmental entities.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-248: Section 6183 of D.C. Law 21-36 removed the funding requirement and other applicability restrictions in D.C. Law 20-248, § 302, as enacted.